Domenico Grenci

Sguardi / Blicke

10.13 –
11.19.2016

The Alessandro Casciaro Art Gallery is delighted to present the first solo exhibition of the work of Domenico Grenci. This young artist, born in 1981 in Ardore in the Italian province of Reggio Calabria, currently lives and works in Bologna.


A selection of small and large-scale works on canvas and paper are on display, in which the theme of the female face plays the overriding part. In an almost obsessive search amongst all possible variations, the artist presents the boundless diversity, the uniqueness, the perpetual appeal of the female face, devoid of those artificial enhancements through cosmetics which are apt to conceal its authority and innermost truth. Grenci seeks the eternal secret of the human face, however his aim is not that of producing a precise representation or some form of social dialogue. By means of the artistic alterations to which he subjects his faces and body fragments, continually chasing an expression which is able to reflect the emotional state of his subject, the artist is trying to capture not the smooth, clear similarities of the external features of a face, but rather something deeper and difficult to attain, which is continuously eluding us.
At times melancholic, then again puzzling and disturbing, residing in a timeless dimension without any spatial reference, Grenci’s female faces seem to emerge from an old photo which has been ravaged by time. In addition to pencil and water colour, the artist employs inferior and unusual material such as bitumen and thereby creates the effect of an indeterminate and incomplete alienation, a mysterious atmosphere, such as is evoked by a blurred or faded image.
There are some constant elements in all the depictions of faces which Grenci has painted or drawn, as if he were unable to do without them: above all his striking trademark eyes and lips, but also eyelids and eyebrows, and nostrils; the oval of the face, which is frequently kept pale and translucent and contrasts with the voluminous dark hair which appears to fascinate the artist, as if it were for him an essential element of feminine seduction. Sometimes his faces look at us head-on, as if they wanted to challenge any sense of inertia or indifference which we might possibly be feeling, and at such times it is indeed difficult to withstand such a penetrating look; at other times the figures have lowered their eyes, as if they do not dare to look their opposite number in the face; and then again their gaze is directed at some distant place outside the picture and unknown to us.

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